Located in the southwest corner of the Italian peninsula, 10 kilometers at the southeastern foot of the Vesuvius volcano and 23 kilometers from Naples in the northwestern direction, Pompeii covers an area of 1.8 square kilometers with a population of 25,671.
Pompeii was first built in 6 century BC, and it was named after Gnaeus Pompeii the politician and militarist of ancient Rome. Pompeii was an ideal harbor and was not far from the vital transportation line Appian Way, and it grew gradually into a prosperous commercial city. In 79 AD, after the eruption of the Vesuvius volcano, the city was buried under the ashes. Whereas a lot of building sites and artistic relics were well preserved, which enabled it to become the most famous ancient city site in the world and it won the fame of the unique open-air museum of the world.
The official excavation of the city began in 1748 and continues until the present time. The well-preserved buildings, all the facilities and cultural relics have provided very valuable information for the researches on the social life and human progress of ancient Rome including its urban construction and planning as well as its urban facilities. After more than 200 years worth of intermittent excavation, four-fifths of the ancient city that has long-slept has been unearthed. In 1997, the archeological area of the Pompeii ancient city was listed by UNESCO in World Heritage List.
Tourism is the pillar industry in the economy of Pompeii and every year there are about 8 million tourists coming to the city from all parts of Italy and from abroad.
Pompeii established sister-city relationship with Xi’an on October 13, 2007.
[Source:Foreign Affairs and Overseas Chinese Affairs Office of Xi’an City]